Shaheed Bhai Ajit Singh is one of the thousands of shaheeds
who are unknown to the Sikhs. He breathed his last on June 5, 2003. You
all will be surprised to hear that he left his body for heavenly abode
just few days ago but we are still calling him a shaheed related to the
1984 events. Please read on to know why.
Bhai Sahib was born in a small village in district Jalandhar. From
childhood he was a very keen and focussed person. He grew up to be a
very handsome, tall young man. He joined Indian Air Force in the
fifties. There he met Bhai Tejinder Singh who was a well known Singh of
Akhand Kirtani Jatha. Bhai Sahib Randhir Singh had not left this
world yet and was physically alive. Bhai Tejinder Singh gave Bhai
Ajit Singh some books to read.
After reading these books, Bhai Ajit Singh totally changed and
expressed his desire to become a Sikh of Guru Nanak Dev Ji. He wanted
to meet Bhai Sahib Randhir Singh jee. He met Bhai Sahib and in the mid
1950s he took amrit at an amrit sinchaar organized by the Akhand Kirtani
Jatha. After taking amrit, Bhai Ajit Singh jee took up the great rehit
of Khalsa – Sarbloh Bibek. He used to get up at 1:30 am and his nitnem
ended at around 7am. All day long too he kept reciting baani or Naam.
Uncompromising On Gurmat
He never compromised on the principles of Gurmat. One of the most
striking fact is that he did his military service in Air Force without
tying his beard. It is totally unheard of but Bhai Sahib kept his rehit.
In those days there was a Muslim senior officer whose name was HT Latif.
Latif gave Muslims a special permission to maintained trimmed beard.
Bhai Ajit Singh took a copy of the order of Latif that a religious
Muslim is allowed to keep short beard. This letter greatly helped him in
his service in Air Force.
Once there was a medal ceremony where Bhai Sahib showed up in his
flowing beard. The Hindu officer who was distributing the medals, took a
note of Bhai Sahib’s beard and asked him to tie it. Bhai Sahib refused
and explained to him that it is his religion to maintain flowing beard.
The officer took offence and threatened to take action if he did not
obey orders. At this Bhai Sahib showed him a copy of the order of Latif,
where he had allowed religious Muslims to maintained beards. Bhai Sahib
said that he too was a “Maulwi” of Sikhs and wanted to keep a flowing
beard. As much as the officer did not like this but he had no choice but
to let him off because Latif was a much senior officer at that time.
Guru Sahib kept Bhai Sahib’s honour.
Once a senior officer started smoking in the presence of Bhai Ajit Singh. Bhai Sahib requested him to stop smoking. He got offended as he did
not expect a junior officer to tell him what to do. Bhai Sahib again
requested him but the officer did not care and spoke rudely at him. He
went as far as breathing smoke towards Bhai Sahib. This was too much for
Bhai Sahib to sustain. He held his hand and forcefully stopped him from
The senior officer immediately ordered that Bhai Sahib be arrested. He
was arrested and put in jail. Preparations for court martial were
started. Some senior Sikh officers found out about this event. They
explained to the other officers that this case could take a political
turn if Bhai Sahib was prosecuted. Finally Bhai Sahib was released and
he joined his service again. He did not apologize for his act and was
willing to sacrifice for this act.
Bhai Sahib was very close to Bhai Fauja Singh. Bhai Sahib used to
stay at his house all the time and vice-versa. Bhai Sahib had great
spirit for the chardi kala of Khalsa.
Post 1984 Life
After the rise of the militant movement of the Sikhs, Bhai Sahib’s house
became a main stay for the militant Singh's. They used to stay at his
house all the time. Being a Khalsa, he could not refuse anyone from
staying in his house. He served them with his mind body and spirit.
Famous Singh's who used to stay with him were Shaheed Harjinder Singh
Jinda, Shaheed Manbir Singh Chaheru, Shaheed Balbir Singh, Bhai Mahal
Singh, Shaheed Labh Singh and many others.
Everyone knew that the consequences of letting the militants stay at
your house meant total destruction. Despite knowing this, Bhai Sahib
never cared for the consequences. He did not care that his 3 sons and a
daughter too could be victimized for this. He was worried about a higher
cause. He wanted to serve the Khalsa of Guru Gobind Singh jee and he was
willing to sacrifice himself for this.
Finally the fateful day of July 1986 arrived when Bhai Sahib was
arrested by CBI for helping the militants. He was taken to the infamous
Tihar Jail of Delhi. He was severely tortured there. He stayed there for
9 months and in these nine months all efforts were made to make him
incapable of doing any more sewa of Panth. They could not kill him as he
was an officer in the Air Force but they did just that i.e. turned him
into a harmless person for them. He used to narrate how he was made to
witness tortures of other gursikhs. These gursikhs were tortured in
front of him and then killed in fake encounters. One famous Singh who
was killed this way was Roshan Lal Bairagi a Sikh who had converted from
the Hindu faith.
Bhai Sahib was given electric shocks that greatly effected him. Electric
shocks were given to his head and even to his private parts. He was
severely tortured. They also used to give him injections and after those
injections, he felt that his hands and feet used to start shaking. By
the time he came out, he had developed some fatal disease as a result of
this torture. Because of this shaking of his hands and feet, he fell
down a flight of stairs one day and fell into a coma. He stayed in this
coma for about 6 years until June 5, 2003. He breathed his last on that
His three sons and a daughter live in the Toronto area and are gursikhs.
His elder son Bhai Rampal Singh is a famous leader in Toronto area.